Is This Bromance Really Good For The Jets?
Only two weeks have gone by since the beginning of the 2013 NFL preseason and yet one thing has been made abundantly clear in New York Jets camp – the circus is still in town and it does not look like it is leaving anytime soon.
Despite numerous reports that head coach Rex Ryan has yet to name the Jets’ starting quarterback for this season, it is apparent that he has an idea in mind of who he wants to see lined up under center Week 1.
Last season, QB Mark Sanchez ended his tumultuous campaign with a total of 26 turnovers – 18 interceptions and eight lost fumbles – and led the Jets to a 6-10 record, resulting in a third-place finish in the AFC East.
Despite the struggles of his quarterback, however, Ryan could only bear to bench Sanchez for one game before giving him the keys yet again in a Week 16 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Ryan told reporters at the time that the reason he went back to Sanchez in that final game was because third-string backup QB Greg McElroy, who had started the week before, suffered a concussion and could not play.
But if that was truly the case, and with the season lost anyway, why not give Sanchez the opportunity to regroup mentally and give fellow QB Tim Tebow a shot to take some significant snaps as a Jet?
I do not know if he is desperate and at the end of his rope or if he is just plain senile, but I believe that Rex Ryan truly thinks that Sanchez gives the Jets the best chance to win. Ryan wanted to provide Sanchez with an unearned vote of confidence and an opportunity to cap off a horrendous 2012 season with a morale-boosting victory.
Unfortunately for the Jets, it looks like that move has ultimately backfired.
Media magnet Tim Tebow was replaced in the offseason by rookie Geno Smith, who was brought in to provide Sanchez with a worthy adversary in the battle to become the Jets starting quarterback.
The veteran seeking redemption versus the hungry youngster trying to establish himself. This sounds like a pretty good matchup to me. It is a shame that the head coach seems unlikely to judge fairly though.
In the Jets first preseason game of 2013 against the Detroit Lions, Sanchez threw an interception that was instantly returned for a Lions touchdown by rookie DE Ziggy Ansah just four plays into the drive. After the eventual 26-17 loss to Detroit, however, Ryan appeared to stand by his turnover-prone passer, saying that he did not see the pick six.
Then, during one especially rough day of practice leading up to the Jets contest against the Jaguars in the team’s second preseason game, Geno Smith was picked off four times. Ryan must have been wearing his glasses that day as he told reporters after practice concluded that Smith’s performance was “brutal”.
How can an NFL head coach – a motivator of men – seemingly baby one of the league-leaders in turning the ball over from last season while publicly picking apart one bad day of practice by an impressionable rookie?
If you ask me, Ryan has already made his decision on who his starting quarterback will be when Week 1 arrives. You would think that he might want to think his decision through a tad more thoroughly considering this is a make-or-break year for Ryan.
Eh, he probably just wants to avoid the need to have his tattoo of his wife wearing a Sanchez jersey altered.